I raised some questions regarding the situation in Meade, Kansas based on the media reports. The miracle of the Internet is such that the answers came in directly from Robin Knight, in Meade. She is one of the owners of the Lakeway Hotel that has had problems because it flew the rainbow flag upsetting local neanderthals. Her answers sound reasonable and plausible. And they confirm something I've known for a long time -- the media does not get the facts right.
I found it odd that it was reported that her son purchased the gay flag at the local Oz museum. That is how it was reported in several places. She says her son did not buy it there at all but at the Del Mar Fair in California "because it reminded him of our family trip to Dorothy's House and Kansas."
I also mentioned the email that was posted which sounded as if the son were dead or missing for some reason. No context was given in that email to explain it and I thought this odd since it appeared the flag had been recently published. Robin explains tht the "we sent Anthony to California to spend the summer with his grandparents, but because of the problems in this town we were having serious questions about bringing him back. The reaction to the flag kind of sealed the deal. He will not be coming back." Robin suggested a phone call but given that we are based in Europe, and since she answered our questions I won't trouble them further. Below are excerpts from her email. She wrote:
"I am sorry you are so confused. I am confused too and I am living this story. I would like to answer a couple of questions for you. First, No my son Anthony is not dead. We never said he bought the flag at the museum in Liberal, only that he bought it because it reminded him of our family trip to Dorothy's House in Liberal. He purchased the flag at the Del Mar Fair in California at one of the booths in the exhibit hall because it reminded him of Dorothy's House and Kansas. He thought we would like it to fly from our flag pole. He is 12, a very naive 12 at that even thought he is nearly 6' tall (They are predecting 7'+ by the time he's done). I am not sure that he understands what "Gay" means, let alone the "Gay Right Movement". He is a borderline "asperger's syndrome" kid. He was in special ed at his school.He is a kind child, not a troublemaker, not a bully. We have had a lot of problems with the folks in this town, some will say that JR gets what he deserves. The truth is JR is not a lay-down kind of guy. He has been fighting for our rights since we crossed the city lines into this town. That's really another story, and if you would like more details give me a call. The fact of the matter is we sent Anthony to California to spend the summer with his grandparents, but because of the problems in this town we were having serious questions about bringing him back. The reaction to the flag kind of sealed the deal. He will not be coming back. I'm sorry if that meant it sounded like he was dead. Maybe could have been worded a bit better. But those are the facts. With regards to the flag, it was not expensive, just a cheap nylon flag. Maybe $7.50 if that and I doubt he paid for it, more likly hit Grandpa up but took the credit. We did recieve a new flag in the mail today so we will be rehanging it. I hope this clears up your questions, if not give me a call and I will be happy to talk to you."
As I said, either way I applaud what they are doing and would do so even if my questions were not answered. But since the media was doing such a piss poor job of reporting I felt the questions had to be raised. (Look at how the media is still reporting Mel Gibson is a Roman Catholic -- they don't check their facts.) I wish the Knights the best. I suspect the best is a good offer on the hotel and moving to a civilized place. Personally I recommend New Zealand. I fear civilization and the United States divorced some years back. Good luck Robin and thank you for the reply.